On December 1, VMware announced plans to discontinue sales of it’s type II desktop virtualization hypervisor management platform VMware ACE Assured Computing Environment (ACE), leaving existing ACE customers in the lurch with no recommended way forwards. Now MokaFive is looking to fill the gap by offering a heavily discounted MokaFive Suite to help them out.

Five years after its initial launch, VMware is discontinuing it desktop virtualization management platform VMware ACE. Introduced as a central management solution for distributed type II virtual desktops, ACE has seen little in the way of product development or marketing attention in the last 18 months as the VMware End User Computing Group has focused its efforts on VMware Workstation for un-managed desktop environments and VMware View as its managed desktop solution. VMware cited limited adoption, stating that “the product did not meet the needs of a broader market” as reason for its retirement. This leaves VMware with View Local Mode as its only managed desktop solution, a technology that has also achieved only limited user adoption. The VMware ACE FAQ could only offer this as a response to migration and upgrade questions.

Is there a migration or  upgrade path from VMware ACE?

There is no upgrade or migration path from VMware ACE to another VMware product. VMware’s current product portfolio does not include a product that is sufficiently similar to VMware ACE. VMware ACE customers should contact their VMware representative to suggest alternative solutions if their specific needs have changed. For example, VMware ACE customers interested in managing corporate desktops should consider VMware View.

Desktop virtualization start-up MokaFive is seizing the opportunity  to tempt existing ACE users away from VMware by offering a heavily discounted MokaFive Suite.

MokaFive Suite is an enterprise desktop management platform that is used to create and administer layered virtual desktop images called ‘LivePCs’  which execute as guests on either a type II hypervisor or type I hypervisor dubbed MokaFive BareMetal. LivePC images are authored using the MokaFive Creator which also serves as a test platform to simulate and end-users experience.  LivePC images can be stored on centralized or distributed file stores.  The Virtualization Practice assessed MokaFive Suite 3.0 when it was launched in December 2010.

Aside from a benefiting from a continuing product lifecycle, Mokafive Suite offers several significant advantages over ACE. MokaFive Suite provides support for both type I and type II hypervisors, as well as offering support for Intel based Apple Mac PCs, and for customers who do not specifically need a VDI solution, MokaFive Suite, in common with other distributed desktop virtualization solutions, avoids the high cost of data center infrastructure needed for VDI, while providing the best possible user experience.

“As VMware ACE approaches the end of its lifecycle, we look forward to providing users with a seamless transition to MokaFive,” said Purnima Padmanabhan, COO, MokaFive. “By making the move now, current VMware ACE customers can be up and running with MokaFive in no time at all, expand their user bases without limitation in the future, and enjoy the increased benefits at a price point that is unrivaled in the industry.”

MokaFive is extending a 75% discount offer to ACE customers looking to migrate to MokaFive Suite, equivalent to $38 per user per year. Accepting that this is an annual license fee compared to the current street price of approximately $88 for VMware ACE, it still represents exceptional value. however, with a minimum purchase of 100 licenses, MokaFive may be shutting the door to many potential customers. For those customers who are not in a position to commit to 100 seats, I would still suggest that they approach MokaFive and try to cut a deal.

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Simon Bramfitt (127 Posts)

Simon is an independent industry analyst covering enterprise desktop, mobile and application virtualization, delivery and management technologies.

He is an experienced solutions architect with unmatched insight into the challenges of designing large (200,000 seat plus) high availability presentation and desktop virtualization systems.

Simon was invited to join the Citrix Technology Professionals (CTP) group in May 2010 and joined the Virtualization Practice in September 2010

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